The Plot Neil Perry, Todd Anderson, Knox Overstress, Charlie Dalton, Richard Cameron, Steven Meek, and Gerard Pits are senior students of the Walton Academy which is a privileged private school In New England. The story takes place during the first school semester of the year 1956. The pallor’s of the Walton College are “tradition, honor, discipline and excellence”. The teaching methods of their new English teacher, John Keating, are quite unorthodox for standards of Walton college curriculum.
John Keating is an unusual Walton Teacher who has been found out by his students that a former student at Walton and a member of secret school literary club, the Dead Poets Society who has met in a cave off the school grounds. Keating Is an unusual teacher because on the contrary to his colleges whose teaching practices focus on merely homework and exams, Keating pushes his students to “think” and to “seize the day”. His actions start to reach some different endings for each student. Knox meets and falls in love with a girl named Chris, using his new-found love of poetry to woo her.
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Neil wants to be an actor but knows his father will disapprove. Without his father’s knowledge, he auditions for the role of Puck in a production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. HIS father finds out and orders Nell to withdraw. Nell asks Keating for advice and Is advised to talk to his father and make him understand how he feels, but Nell cannot muster the courage to do so. Instead he goes against his father’s wishes. His father shows up at the end of the play, furious. He takes Neil home and tells him that he intends to enroll him in a military school to prepare him for Harvard
University and a career in medicine. Unable to cope with the future that awaits him, Neil commits suicide. Then the school headmaster Gale Nolan starts an investigation and he points out the Keating as the responsible person for Knell’s suicide. The boys introductory essay only to find that they had all ripped it out. Keating enters the room to take a few belongings. Todd reveals that the boys were intimidated into signing the denunciation. Nolan orders Todd to be quiet and demands that Keating leave. As Keating is about to exit, Todd calls out “O Captain! My Captain! ” and stands on his ask.
Nolan warns Todd to sit down or face expulsion. Much of the class, including Knox, Meek, and Pits, climb onto their desks and look to Keating, ignoring Nylon’s orders until he gives up. Keating, visibly touched, thanks the students and then leaves. 1 The Dead Poets Society has three circles of social groups. The largest circle is the sass society. Its values and determination of the social roles. The second organizational group is the Walton Academy itself. Within its boarding students, teachers and pillars Walton Academy is a smaller model of the society but at the name time a unique one due to its own dynamics.
Within the Walton Academy Society, there is a group of boys who have their conformity in their group. In this group, it is possible to see common teenage problems and questioning of the personality. The movie presents the problems orthodox against unorthodox and the acceptance (mostly denial ) of the “new and different”. To be able to analyze all these entities and social interactions, analyzing individuals is a starting point. Analysis of the Characters Here the characters are analyzed according to their personality, attitudes and roles.
Mr. Keating A former student of Walton Academy, as a teacher, Mr. Keating is the boys’ source of inspiration and encouragement. He makes poetry “drip from their tongues like honey,” using it as a medium to encourage his students to discover individuality. Mr. Keating is the teacher at the school where the four pillars are “Tradition, Honor, Discipline, Excellence” His attitude towards these pillars was apparent in his words “we are the food of worms” and against these ideas he encourages his students to seize the day.
He was one of the students who tried to seize the day during the roomer days of the school. He doesn’t meet the role expectations of the college. The collage is very orthodox and the teachers are very strict and serious. Education is centered around transferring the raw information to the students , assigning homework, conducting exams and giving grades. Thus, the expected role of Mr. Keating is to use the textbook in class, assign the students to write essays on some poetry using the writer’s idea in the textbook, give them exams and grades.
However, instead of meeting all these criteria, Mr. Kiting asks his students to rip the introduction part of the book, he assigns them to create their own poems, he takes them outside the class and behaves as a guide not a strict authority figure. Neil Perry Neil Perry is a confident and popular student who excels in his studies. He is liked by both his friends and teachers. He is inspired by his passionate English teacher, Mr. Keating. He re-establishes the ‘Dead Poets Society’. He figures out his passion for acting and he enters the audition and takes the most important part in the play.
During the very first scenes of the movie, Neil and his father argues about Nil’s social activities. When his father asks him to leave one of his social activities, Neil disagrees with him. His father takes him out of the room where his friends present according to social expectations Neil should study, be a respectful doctor and obey the school rules and his father. When the acting becomes a part of his Life Neil hides this from his father. He thinks his father doesn’t understand his passion and he acts secretly. So he goes through a role conflict. Another conflict that he experiences is his reestablishment of the dead poets’ society.
Todd Anderson Todd is a shy and introverted student who is new to Walton Academy. Toddy’s older brother was a previous student of Walton. So, both the school and his parents have high expectations of Todd because of his brother’s former success. As an obedient and hard working young man, Todd tries hard to please his teachers but lacks confidence at the beginning of the film and this prevents him from reaching his potential. However, with the help of his roommate Neil and his English Teacher Mr. Keating, he develops a lot. At the end of the film, he is the first student to stand on his desk in support of Mr. Keating.
He is one of the characters who goes through a cognitive dissonance. While he is trying to fulfill the role of a hardworking son, Mr.. Seating’s classes start to affect him. Although he knows that he is effected by Mr. Keating, He tries to get rid of the ideas. Although he is into poetry, he hides this from everyone. He composes a poem for his assignment but he refuses to read it in class. At the end of the movie he thinks that Mr. Seating’s dismiss from school is unfair. He shows his reaction by standing up on the desk while Mr. Nolan is teaching and Mr. Keating is about to leave.
So, he solves his dissonance after Nil’s suicide. Richard Cameron Cameron is an ambitious student who conforms totally with both the school’s and his parents’ expectations. He Joins the Dead Poets Society not to risk his place among the popular boys at school. But when he gets the chance to win the favor of the school head, he betrays his friends and he is responsible for the dismissing of Mr. Keating. Walton Academy As a Organization Walton academy is not a school like others. The academy is a privileged private school in New England.
During the whole movie, the traditional style and principles re emphasized for the organization. Although, the movie does not give clear information about the chain of command, it can be said said that, the Walton Academy is the part of the chain of the command and centralization organization. With the definition of these terms, there is an unbroken authority. The line of the authority is not clear and not defined in the movie however, it is easily seen that headmaster is higher authority than the other teachers. Walton Academy, as an organization, never change its discipline, teaching methods and curriculum.
The four liars -tradition, honor, discipline and excellence- that are mentioned in the beginning of the movie are the settings for the students to obey. The authorities of the school do not underestimate these settings for the students. When the students, one of the key dynamics of the Walton Academy organization, it is seen that the income of the students are higher from the middle which can be clearly understood different and privileged school from the others. They try to educate the future leaders of the society within their traditional framework.
There is one common expectation shared between the school authorities and families. For every students, the expectations is very high. Both the school and families expect their children not to question the authority, get good grades, get socially acceptable and respectable jobs. On the other hand, Mr.. Keating and his class change these settings to “Travesty, Horror, Decadence and Excrement” and he encourages the students to seize the day. Although he is one of the old students and know the school discipline, he try to increase the students’ self-esteem and support the idea of the individualist.
In other rods, it can be easily said that Mr.. Keating is not one of the regular teachers when comparing the other teachers who try to teach their regular methods to students. Values of The Dead Poets Society: The attitudes and behavior are the part of the values that play an important role in the organizational behavior since it influence the people’s attitudes and behavior. According to Reach Value Survey, there are two types of values which are called terminal values and instrumental values. When we analyze the movie, the values and the beliefs are not the same with the school and Mr..
Keating. In terms of school discipline and tradition, every students should obey the rules and discipline without any defiant. They should have a comfortable life, family security, and social recognition. To be able to finalize all these terminal values, they should be ambitious, obedient, responsible and self controlled. On the other hand, Mr.. Seating’s values conflict with the School. He wants his students to have an exciting life, freedom, pleasure, true friendship and wisdom. To be able to accomplish his values he encourages his students. These two values are the key points for Mr..
Keating: Seize he Day and If you really want to do something, you can make the people around you believe in you. Mr. Keating encourages his students to make their moments matter. During his first lesson, he tells that as human beings we are the food for worms. He emphasizes the mortality and asks his students to seize the day. By the end of the movie, when Neil talks to Mr.. Keating about his father’s reaction to his acting and His own ideas along with his feelings towards acting, Mr.. Keating encouraged him to talk to his father as he did to Mr.. Keating. He was optimistic that Nil’s father would understand his passion for acting.